A Pair Of Ruby Slippers

January 8, 2008

Action Turn

Filed under: MACMP — author @ 6:06 pm

sleep4.jpgUnit 3 required us to conduct a piece of Action Inquiry in our workplace. I based my inquiry on our team meetings, this was a jointly chosen subject with my then boss and professional advocate as the meeting had become a bit of a bone of contention within the team. It made sense to try and tackle something that would make a difference. The blog posts from this unit can be found in March and April’s archives.

I took with me the learnings from the previous unit and built on the work I had done from Goffman. I tried to build into the assignment write up a sense of what it was like doing this type of work on a part time basis. This was a theme to emerge again in my work and I think it has a resonance with the whole work/life balance debate that surfaces a fair bit in the media at the moment.

Basically I thought that action inquiry was fab. I really got it, actually make a change then see what happens whilst being prepared to change again, build in that eventuality that the first change will not be perfect. Reason and Torbert (2001. p.1) hit the nail on the head for me when they talked about the action turn. AI also built on the reflexive elements of unit two; it gave me a chance to study my role in what I was doing. The team joined in with alacrity which made my task much more pleasurable than it otherwise may have been and I suspect ultimately more successful.

I have since joined a new team and intend to identify areas where I can employ an AI method to change with them when I have spent some time understanding how they currently do things and see what may benefit from this type of approach. I have also found that my attitude to meetings is a little different because of having done this work, when I viewed things from the side of being responsible for them and being the person doing the changing, it made me realise how hard it is if people do not put in some effort (although as I have said the munchkins were excellent). A wizard pointed out that there is a thin line between being a person who challenges and uses scepticism wisely and a common spoil sport.

I remain sceptical of Myers Briggs type exercises but understanding Goffman has given me a different way to approach them, I can now play a different part and with practice will improve in that role. I had my first new team do last week and found it interesting that this is effectively a new show and an opportunity to take on a new role, at least in part. I don’t think anyone noticed that I am still learning my lines.

AI only required me to buy a pair of flip flops, and some nail varnish for my toes.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: